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The Varying Needs of Customers in Different Business Sectors

Question:

Discuss about the Hospitality and Tourism Services Management.

All sectors are different with different customer needs as well as service requirements. However, all of the sectors have one idea in common- no business can be developed without customers. I am agreeing with the statement that customer service is different and it is based on the type of business and needs of the customers. The following report revolves around the fact the customer service is different based on the type of business needs as well as customer service requirements. The major purpose of the report is to analyze the customer service comparing it with different types of business and types of needs. The analysis of the report could help to identify different types of business and needs of the customers. The analysis has been weighed with theories like Total Quality Management and Quality Guru.

The needs of the customers for particular types of service could differ by industry. For example, it can be mentioned that the financial sector could require debt collection, customer care and telemarketing. The customers are the most significant stakeholders for any business.  The customers are considered as the major resource because the success of business depends on the customers to a large extent. As there are different types of businesses across the world thus, the needs of customers must vary. If we keep the customer needs beside, other significant differences are the specific needs of business as well as the technical requirement of the business. Some organizations might care about high margin and sales, whereas other might try to meet customer needs. For example, in hospitality and tourism sector, the organizations try to satisfy the customer needs and demands. If the needs and demands of the customers are met, the organizations will observe high achievement in sales margin and profits.

Decades ago, the customers usually would become satisfied just hearing “Please and Thank you” or they would become happy if they were treated with a smile. It is proved a fact that satisfied customers often look for an unforgettable experience and innovative services. However, enhancement in the customer service is range of activities developed to enhance the degree of customer satisfaction, which makes the provider realize that a product has met the expectation or demand of customers. In such context, Becker, Kugeler and Rosemann (2013) commented that customers are the lifeblood for any business. Thereby, understanding the needs of customers is crucial for a healthy business in developing new customers. As put forward by Li, Ye and Law (2013) the top class customer service could forge and strengthen the customer relationship, which is an invaluable asset for the organization in hospitality and tourism industry. There is an undeniable fact that there is an increasing competition in the hospitality industry, which makes high quality-customer service indispensible.

There is a significant challenge of achieving consistency and quality across all elements of the customer experience and getting employees to meet as well as exceed customer expectation in hotel industry. The scholar of hospitality and tourism industry considers service quality as the precedent to customer satisfaction. Torres and Kline (2013) mentioned that getting a good quality of service from the food and beverage department of a hotel is significant for many customers. However, in the video clip provided, it is shown that customers are not treated well and they were thrown out of the hotel. Nonetheless, the customers were still interested to stay in the hotel. This probably happens, as the customers did not have available options.

The Importance of Customer Satisfaction for Business Success in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

As the world-economy was poor, the customers were dependent on whatever services the hotels have. The customers would not expect the high quality of services as the cost of services was too less. Nevertheless, the scenario has changed now; the hotel services in the present days have become customer-centric. The success of hospitality business largely depends on the guest satisfaction. The customers are satisfied when they receive a desired quality of services. Therefore, it can be mentioned that customer satisfaction influenced by the quality of service provided. In this context, Assaf and Magnini (2012) commented that guest satisfaction in the tourism industry remains as the evaluation whether or not the quality of service meets their expectation.

In addition, Liat, Mansori and Huei (2014) commented that satisfaction of customer’s demand remains as the significant consequence of all marketing tasks in a market oriented-firm. The major goal of meeting the needs of customers or satisfying them is to expand the business by developing the market. Conversely, the guest satisfaction concept in this module refers to the judgment that relies on both good service quality as well as fitness of the services to the needs of customers. In the video clip, the scenario indicates that the hotel just wanted to earn profits by providing the customers with minimum service requirements. The needs and demands of the customers are rapidly changing, the organizations in the hospitality and tourism sector cannot show any laidback attitude towards the guest as it was shown in the video clip. In fact, the hotels should be more conscious about dynamic scenario of the industry.

It is evident that needs and demands of customers in the hotel industry are rapidly changing. The organizations are in the rush of developing their quality of services. With advanced researches and strategies, the organizations develop the quality of services with the industry benchmark.

Total quality management is mainly concerned with the management of quality principle in all aspects of businesses including the suppliers and the customers with the integration of major business processes.  As put forward by Wang, Chen and Chen (2012) every individual in the company considers Total Quality Management as an approach, which involves the persistent improvement. The existing studies confirm that TQM is the principle, which involves the cooperation of every individual engaged in the businesses that reinforce the business process of the organizations. The major focus is on the improvement of quality of services to satisfy the customers. The organizations in the competitive or challenging environment are compelled to implement new management approaches and theories and one of which is Total Quality Management. Thus, many services organizations such as hotel and tourism organizations have responded to these challenges by implementing TQM to achieve competitiveness as well as the business excellence. As opined by Pereira-Moliner et al.,  (2012), Total Quality Management should become the way of life in hospitality organization to improve the services. The stages of TQM positively influence the service quality and customer satisfaction.

Uncommitted- The stage represents companies that have not started a formal procedure of quality enhancement. The organizations in this phase consider quality improvement as an additional or added cost. Thereby, the companies do not have to make large investment in quality improvement such as training and development programs of employees.

Total Quality Management and its Application in Service-Oriented Businesses

Drifters- The companies that are involved in a process of quality improvement for up to three years and have followed the significant advice as well as wisdom of TQM (Benavides et al., 2014). The management of the company tends to review the performance of the company on the basis of execution of TQM.

Tool pushers- The companies in this category focus on the quality improvement programs. However, in many cases, the organizations fail to implement such tools appropriately. They implement quality management tools such as quality cycle and quality enhancement group. The company could blame the failure of Total Quality Management on the tools implemented (Alonso-Almeida, Rodríguez-Antón, and Rubio-Andrada, 2012).

Apart from these three phases, TQM process is adopted with five different dimensions such as reliability, responsiveness, empathy, assurance and tangible.

In the earlier days of quality improvement concept, American experts W. Edward Deming, Jodeph Juran and Philip Crosby have led the quality management (Zairi, 2013). These experts are known as the quality “Gurus”. Edward significant focused on the importance and responsibility on management at both individual as well as quality level. He believes that management is responsible for 94% of quality problems. Edward’s philosophy of management can be applied to small and large organizations in the public private services organizations. This philosophy creates the consistency of purpose towards the enhancement of products and services. Edward also developed a systematic approach to problem solving which is vastly known as PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, and Act) (McCabe, 2014).

References and Bibliography

Alonso-Almeida, M. D. M., Rodríguez-Antón, J. M., & Rubio-Andrada, L. (2012). Reasons for implementing certified quality systems and impact on performance: an analysis of the hotel industry. The Service Industries Journal, 32(6), 919-936.

Assaf, A. G., & Magnini, V. (2012). Accounting for customer satisfaction in measuring hotel efficiency: Evidence from the US hotel industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 31(3), 642-647.

Baden-Fuller, C., & Haefliger, S. (2013). Business models and technological innovation. Long range planning, 46(6), 419-426.

Becker, J., Kugeler, M., & Rosemann, M. (Eds.). (2013). Process management: a guide for the design of business processes. Springer Science & Business Media.

Benavides-Velasco, C. A., Quintana-García, C., & Marchante-Lara, M. (2014). Total quality management, corporate social responsibility and performance in the hotel industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 41, 77-87.

Claycomb, C., & Martin, C. L. (2013). Building customer relationships: an inventory of service providers’ objectives and practices. Journal of Services Marketing.

Li, H., Ye, Q., & Law, R. (2013). Determinants of customer satisfaction in the hotel industry: an application of online review analysis. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 18(7), 784-802.

Liat, C. B., Mansori, S., & Huei, C. T. (2014). The associations between service quality, corporate image, customer satisfaction, and loyalty: Evidence from the Malaysian hotel industry. Journal of hospitality marketing & management, 23(3), 314-326.

McCabe, S. (2014). Quality Improvement Techniques in Construction: Principles and Methods. Routledge.

Mohammed, A. A., & Rashid, B. (2012). Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in Hotel Industry: A framework proposal on the relationship among CRM dimensions, Marketing Capabilities, and Hotel performance. International Review of Management and Marketing, 2(4), 220.

Torres, E., & Kline, S. (2013). From customer satisfaction to customer delight: Creating a new standard of service for the hotel industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 25(5), 642-659.

Ngo, L. V., & O'Cass, A. (2013). Innovation and business success: The mediating role of customer participation. Journal of Business Research, 66(8), 1134-1142.

Pereira-Moliner, J., Claver-Cortés, E., Molina-Azorín, J. F., & Tarí, J. J. (2012). Quality management, environmental management and firm performance: direct and mediating effects in the hotel industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 37, 82-92.

Sharma, A., & Lambert, D. M. (2013). Segmentation of markets based on customer service. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management.

Talib, F., Rahman, Z., & Qureshi, M. N. (2012). Total quality management in service sector: a literature review. International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 6(3), 259-301.

Wang, C. H., Chen, K. Y., & Chen, S. C. (2012). Total quality management, market orientation and hotel performance: The moderating effects of external environmental factors. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 31(1), 119-129.

Zairi, M. (2013). The TQM legacy–Gurus’ contributions and theoretical impact. The TQM Journal, 25(6), 659-676.

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